Interview with Frank Cho
Creator of the comic strip 'Liberty Meadows' confronts the taboos of the "funny papers."
The Washington Post Magazine
April 7, 2002
I did a daily comic strip for the University of Maryland for the Diamondback, called University2. That got noticed, and I won the best college cartoonist of 1994. That led to a syndication deal right away. I just lucked out. Because there's only so many spaces in the comics pages. There aren't too many new cartoonists who are able to break in, because a lot of the old cartoonists, they refuse to retire.
I guess my first big exposure to the world of art and illustration was Norman Rockwell. I came over from South Korea when I was 6. Around the same time when Norman Rockwell passed away, so everything was plastered with Norman Rockwell tributes. I learned by copying other artists like Norman Rockwell. I just sat down and drew what I loved.
Most of the characters are based on people I grew up with. They're just based on little personalities, little things that happened to me and my friends, so they're composites of various things. Dean, the pig in my strip, is based on my old college roommate. All my women turn out looking good. I guess to a certain degree, I like to think of my strip as the anti-"Cathy." Why are all the women in the "Cathy" strip ugly? So I'm doing my strip for the people who can't stand "Cathy."
My strip is pretty topical. But there are five topics that you cannot touch in a family newspaper in the comics pages. Sex, religion, drugs, violence and race issues. And all of those five things interest me. And I couldn't touch any of them. I ended the comic strip and continue it in a comic book format so I won't get censored.